Megan was ten years old when her older brother, Zac, went missing among the cliffs, caves and beaches that surround the small seaside town of Whitecliff.
A decade later and a car crash has claimed the lives of her parents.
Megan and her younger sister Chloe return to Whitecliff one summer for the first time since their brother’s disappearance. Megan says it’s to get her parents’ affairs in order. There are boxes to pack, junk to clear, a rundown cottage to sell. But that’s not the real reason.
Megan has come to confront her family’s past after receiving a postcard on the day of her parents’ funeral. It had a photograph of Whitecliff on the front and a single letter on the back.
‘Z’ is all it read.
Z for Zac.
Two Sisters by Kerry Wilkson tells the story of Chloe and Megan, two sisters who recently lost their parents. They decide to go back to their family’s cottage at Whitecliff. It soon becomes clear that their visit is not without motive. Whitecliff is where their brother, Zac, went missing ten years ago. Megan has received a card that made her want to get answers about his disappearance from this coastal village full of secrets.
One of the things that I liked most about this book was the setting. I like small town mysteries. Whitecliff is a small, tourist village full of interesting, creepy characters. It is right along a coast line and as you know, the waters hold even more secrets. The setting is described as having rocky cliffs, caves and hilly places and of course, the waters. In addition, there is an ongoing conflict between the locals and the tourists. The two groups depend on each other though they do not get along. I liked the close-knit community where everyone knew each other. This provided a lot of suspects in the mystery. I also liked the festivities and legends around the town.
Chloe and Megan are two very distinct characters. Megan had some serious personal struggles (you will find out what I mean when you read the book). I liked how mature she was and protective of her sister. I also liked the fact that as readers, we got to discover stuff at the same time that she did. We were part of her investigation team and walked with her as she asked tough questions and made the discoveries along the way. On the other hand, Chloe was mostly in the shadows and we mainly got to know her through Megan’s narrations. I wish her presence was a bit more prominent in the book though. I did like the relationship between the two sisters. The closeness, awkwardness and sometimes disagreements made it realistic.
The story is narrated mainly through Megan’s POV with Chloe’s narrations coming in towards the end. I liked the tension that the author created. I was anxious to find out about Zac. What happened to him? Why are the villagers bothered by Megan’s questions? Where is Zac? I also liked the secrecy in the village. It made it tough to guess who the villain(s) was and most importantly, the motives behind their actions.
If you enjoy psychological thrillers then I think that you will like this one. Kerry Wilkinson is a talented writer. I read and enjoyed his previous book which was contemporary YA, Ten Birthdays (which I reviewed here). I was surprised to see that he had written a psychological thriller. Although very different, both books have unique premises tackling various themes. He has a way of interweaving delicate themes within a story. In this case, it was eating disorders and parental abuse/negligence (I hope that is the right term). They weren’t main themes but they are important topics which he managed to tackle without taking the focus away from the main story-line and mystery. He has a way of bring the words alive and immersing readers into the setting of his books and the character’s life. In this book, I felt like I was part of Megan’s investigation. I also like the imagery in his writing. Whitecliff really came to life in the story. It felt like a real place. I definitely can’t wait to read his next book.